History Lessons

THE NEW YORK POST, May 5 — While the observance of Mexico’s Cinco de Mayo national holiday is now promoted in many American public schools, columnist Linda Chavez wondered if newcomers shouldn’t “learn about the history of the country they now call home.”

Despite growing up in a largely Hispanic area of New Mexico, Chavez “never even heard of Cinco de Mayo,” which recounts a military victory for Mexico in an otherwise losing effort against Napoleon III.

“We did have our ethnic celebrations,” wrote Chavez, “mostly Catholic feast days like that of Our Lady of Guadalupe or Santo Nino de Atocha, the latter honoring the apparition of the Child Jesus in 13th-century Islamic-ruled Spain. But when it came to national holidays, we joined in setting off fireworks and roasting hot dogs on July 4th, taking part in parades on Veteran’s Day and eating turkey on Thanksgiving Day, just like all other Americans.”

 

McGivney Hall

CATHOLIC.ORG, May 5 — The Knights of Columbus will provide an $8 million grant to The Catholic University of America for the renovation of a building to serve as the North American campus of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family.

Following the renovation of Keane Hall, a limestone building on the campus’s central mall, the building will be renamed McGivney Hall in honor of Father Michael McGivney, founder of the Knights.

The John Paul institute is a graduate school of theology affiliated with the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome and currently occupies space at the university’s seminary, Theological College.

New Rector

CATHOLIC EXPLORER, May 15 — Father Dennis Lyle is the new rector and president of the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary, the Archdiocese of Chicago’s seminary.

A faculty member since 2000, he replaces Father John Canary who was named vicar general of the archdiocese in February.

An alumnus of St. Mary, Father Lyle holds a doctorate in moral theology from the Accademia Alfonsiana in Rome.

Controversy’s Sake

THE OREGON DAILY EMERALD, April 26 — An “alternative” University of Oregon newspaper has sparked outrage after printing 12 cartoons of Jesus in the wake of the publication by the Emerald, the official student newspaper, of the cartoons of Muhammad that ignited violence in Europe and elsewhere earlier this year.

One of the cartoons depicted a naked Jesus on the cross with an erection while another showed a naked Jesus kissing another naked man.

The Emerald editorialized against the cartoons of Jesus and said: “Unlike the Danish cartoons, The Insurgent drawings seem intended to simply incite controversy for controversy’s sake rather than making specific social commentaries.”

Gonzaga & Gays

THE BULLETIN, May 3 — A faculty group at Jesuit-run Gonzaga University in Spokane, “GU Affirms Equality,” has circulated a letter that call Catholic teaching on homosexuality hypocritical, reported the campus newspaper.

Philosophy professor Mark Alfino formed the group in response to a visit to campus by Dr. John Diggs, who gave a talk on the medical dangers of homosexual acts that played to a packed auditorium.

Alfino said that “homosexual acts are not wrong things,” and claims that this is supported by a consensus of researchers on homosexuality.

“The Church is very much mistaken about this,” he said. “I know — I’ve got the consensus of the best minds on this.”